Guess Why I'm Pulling My Hair Out In Frustration Day!

Guess Why I'm Pulling My Hair Out In Frustration Day!

A Lesson by TopHatGirl
"

It's because of your character. This could either be very good, or HORRIBLY BAD.

"

Ever hated a character?
Not because he/she is a Mary Sue.
Not because they're the villain.
But honest to god, they just make you FURIOUS.
Like a, "I HOPE YOU'RE THE ONE WHO'S KILLED OFF."
That's either a hilariously good thing, or a horribly horribly bad thing.
There are two types of hate:
THE ENDEARINGLY ANNOYING
  This is purely intentional by the author. I recently took a whack at this in story form, and found it to be quite easy. It was to get a point across, and it's a good way to use it. It's http://www.writerscafe.org/writing/tophatgirl/744757/ if you're interested. (This isn't a self promotion. I'm just wanting to provide an example that is written by me so no author will sue me)
   It's good to have the purposefully hateful. The snotty rich kid, the angsty stereotypical teen. It provides us with laughter or good hearted eye rolling. The trick to doing this is to go over the top.
"WHAT????" you ask, throwing your arms in the air with utter frustration, "You always say to NOT overdo things! I hate you, be less confusing."
I do. Thanks for noticing.  But for the Endearingly Annoying type, I'm going to say a great tip:
PRETEND THAT EVERYONE READING YOUR STORY IS A COMPLETE IDIOT AND COULDN'T TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REAL AND PARODY IF IT HIT THEM WITH A CHOCOLATE COVERED BRICK.
Why chocolate covered? Because I'm immature and this isn't the point.
Note: This tip also works with driving as well. Everyone else on the road is an idiot. Be careful.
Anyways.
This is true, a lot of the time. I've seen reviews of the endearingly funny characters (not always with my own, it's with others too) that go something like this:
Why is ____ so mean? What a jerk! You need to have him more likeable, like, seriously.
 
They are confused. You need to prod them in the right direction with this one.
I admit, even I get utterly lost with the E.A.T. (ha, EAT) when it's not shoved in my face.
Shove it in their faces that it's a parody for at least one example, one paragraph, then space out the examples, use sparingly after the initial prod. Because readers are sometimes smart, too, and after example after example on how annoying the character is, they will throw a chocolate covered brick at your throat.
It will hurt. 

Also, have the people around them point out how annoying they are. Have someone learn from it, for god's sakes. Have THE READER learn. You get extra points for doing that.

THE NON INTENTIONAL PLAIN OLD FRUSTRATING CHARACTER.
Bella Swan.
Bellaswanbellaswanbellaswanbellaswah. Did you get that? Pretty much every character in Twilight has their moments of beyond tolerable, but she takes the cake and doesn't eat it because she doesn't want to get fat for her Edward.
Read the books, and just make a list of: MY CHARACTER SHOULD NEVER EMULATE THESE PEOPLE:

For those of you who love Twilight, then just ignore what I said, you'll grow up eventually.


Okay, enough Twilight bashing.
This is always the author's fault. Don't argue with me. I'm your freakin' boss, and the customer is always right. Either the author has a warped sense of people, or just didn't do a good job at writing them.
This is forgivable for a side character. If it's a side character, people can often mistake it as an EAT, but it does say,"KILL 'EM OFF!!!" 

This usually happens when traits you think are just "AWSUM!" really, just, suck.

Yes, sure, your boyfriend being very protective and follows you ever. Romantic! But it's creepy to everyone else, and turns them into a Non-Intentional POFC.

Tophatgirl! you begin, tears in your eyes,  how do I know if the good traits actually are very, very bad?

That's an easy one!

Ask.

No, don't ask your BFF who loves everything you write and wouldn't give you criticism if your life DEPENDED on it. 

This is why I love WritersCafe. There are people who actually want you to get better, and to do so, they aren't afraid to be a little mean. Post snippets of your work, and ask,"Are they annoying? What makes them so?"

And if nobody responds? This is when you make friends on this site.

GASP.

Making friends. (see relationships lesson)

Review people, message people, get honest opinions.

And you do always have one person on here who will give you critiques on your characters.

Who?? you cry, looking frantically around.

Me!

Yes, I'm annoying myself and immature to boot, but you have to admit, I could help you. One on one is usually better, because I can give you specialized advice. Feel free to message or comment with some of your work, and I'll give you advice. This only works if you are able to take advice about your character, though, which I'll tackle in the next lesson.

Comment, subscribe, message, whatever. Happy writing!





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Comments

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Posted 2 Years Ago


I'm new at this. I have been wanting to write for years and I finally decided to do something about it. This course is the best I have read so far. It has helped me more than any I have read so far. Keep up the good work!
Katherine Watkins

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Posted 3 Years Ago


Omigod, yes. High five! Twlight hater. ;)

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Posted 3 Years Ago


This was probably some of the best advice I've had writing wise in a while. You're not just making the points or being fancy about it, you put it into terms basically anyone could see and understand. Excellent guide.

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Posted 4 Years Ago


Well thanks for making me feel like a complete amateur!!! Oh wait...I am an amateur.

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Posted 4 Years Ago


Great read. Thank You for sharing. You gave a wealth of information, I will now feel more confident in the ways I can build more "rounded", realistic characters. I can't afford to pay some one to view what I write , however you are more then welcome to read and critique it if you'd like. Good or bad, to me, it's all good to me . I'm new here at Writers cafe and only have one piece posted. It is about a character who I'm including in a book I am writing. It is in poem form now. The title is Miss Millie Remembers. My site name is Montana Mel.

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Posted 5 Years Ago


This course has helped me so much with creating characters. Thank you so much for all your help!
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Added on July 21, 2011
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TopHatGirl
TopHatGirl

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About
Hi, I'm TopHatGirl! If you're here about my character lessons or to get some advice, email me instead of messaging at brightflower17@yahoo.com. This is because I don't go on this site as much anym..